Politics

The EDSA Revolution Happened, No Matter What Your Poll Says

You can't rewrite history with an online survey.
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To commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution—one of the proudest and most important moments in our national history—Asec. Mocha Uson asked her loyal following of 5.5 million: Did it really even happen?

By now we're all acclimatized to outrage and alternative facts on social media, especially where our good Asec is involved. But somehow, she still never fails to confound. Casting doubt on the very history of Philippine democracy, Uson asked people to participate in a democratic exercise. She put it to a vote, asking plainly, "Naniniwala ba kayo na ang 1986 EDSA PEOPLE POWER ay isang produkto ng FAKE NEWS???"

Her followers obliged, and by the time the poll ended, over 61,800 people in total had cast their votes. A disheartening 84 percent agreed.

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The truth, of course, is that the People Power Revolution did happen, and that it was a result of genuine, corporeal dissent. Millions of Filipinos flocked to the capital's main artery, and thousands more gathered in other parts of the country to overthrow the kleptocrat and dictator Ferdinand Marcos. This was is in the news. This is in our history books. There are even pictures to prove it. This should be in our national memory. This is not up for debate. Current Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque himself acknowledged as much after Uson's poll, and the story is recorded in the government's own Official Gazette.

Now the Asec's question seems deftly worded to try and afford her some wiggle room from accountability. By asking whether or not her followers believe that the People Power Revolution is a product of fake news, it's easy for her to claim that she never denied the Revolution existed, and that she only meant to ask whether or not it was brought about by "fake news." (Whatever her idea of "fake news" is.) And because this is just the world we live in now, it's also easy for her to throw her hands up and say she made no claims, and was only asking her followers a question. That's probably what she's going to do, if she does anything at all.

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But regardless of her intentions, the Asec did manage to prove one thing with her poll: Filipinos are forgetting what we promised we would never forget. Last year, Esquire reported that the Wikipedia pages about Ferdinand Marcos and the Martial Law era are being edited and whitewashed in what seems to be part a concerted effort to erase the memory of the dictator's crimes against our people. It's clear that revisionists have been working to disfigure our history, and the disturbing results from the Asec's poll show that the revisionists are winning.

Of course, the optimistic view is that her poll didn't involve a completely random sample. It was a sample of Mocha Uson followers, who are all more likely to share Mocha Uson's political skew.

But the existence of the People Power Revolution and the factors that caused it should not be matters of politics—they are matters of fact, and should be acknowledged as such, regardless of how you feel about them. As the American statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, you are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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